Animals as Raw Material in Beringia: Insights from the Site of Swan Point CZ4B, Alaska

François B. Lanoë, Charles E. Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

We document the use of organic raw material in late Pleistocene eastern Beringia through the study of the site of Swan Point CZ4b, in central Alaska. CZ4b is attributed to the Dyuktai culture and dates to about 14,000 cal B.P. We interpret the occupation as a specialized workshop dedicated to the production and maintenance of organic-based tools following three lines of evidence: (1) limited on-site consumption of megafauna, (2) diversity of organic raw materials and techniques used in processing them, and (3) spatial demarcation of specialized activity areas. Specialized workshops are located in the vicinity of naturally occurring accumulations of mammoth bones in both western and eastern Beringia and suggest similarities in animal resource use across Beringia for the Dyuktai culture. Organic technology was a major portion of Dyuktai technology in eastern Beringia, and its lack of visibility in archaeological assemblages is probably due to taphonomic reasons. Changes in the availability of organic raw material throughout the Late Pleistocene offer some implications for the evolution of lithic technology and material culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)682-696
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Antiquity
Volume81
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Archaeology
  • Museology

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